by Annette Fulton
Ben and Emily Mooney and Lindsay Wynia (intern from Iowa 💕) led our team.
Today’s house build team:
- Richard Trealoff
- Michael Brigham
- Dawn and Levi Stultz
- Natasha and Cameron Miller
- Megan Lehman
- and myself, Annette Fulton
Today we met the Garcia Coy Family. Jaime Garcia (27) provides for his family selling shaved ice on the streets of Salama. He, his wife Gudelia, and son Henry (4) have lived in a homemade black plastic tarp on borrowed land. Needless to say, their living conditions were very poor. Jamie is trying to use his limited income to make payments on his shaved ice equipment and also to pay for the land the house was being built on. I can’t even imagine the struggles they face, which are so different than my own. So humbling.
When we arrived, several men were helping Jamie move the shaved ice cart to a lower ‘level’ to make room for the house build supplies. I was struck by how awkward and difficult it was to shift this cart on the hilly and slick path. Then I thought of the hill we drove up to arrive there, it was steep, narrow and even Bethel’s truck worked hard to navigate it. Jamie must peddle this cart up and down this road every day, and then once near home, he must transport the cart up the narrow path to secure it. His life is full of rigorous days.
The family is unique in another way too. They were whole, there is a father in the home. This is not always our experience helping the very poor of Guatemala. Jamie takes great pride in his work and in caring for his family. He is a good and godly man.
The house and bathroom build went really well. There were many on this team who’ve never done this before, but you wouldn’t know it. The building site was set up against a hillside, and at times, some were squeezed into a narrow space in order to construct the back wall. Challenging yes, a problem? No, at least not for this team.
At the finish of our build, our missionary leaders dedicated the home and prayed for this family. As they translated Jamie and his wife’s comments, my eyes began to fill with tears. They both praised God first and gave Him all the glory. But then Jamie said that he ‘was going to pray for us by name’ and thanked God for us. It was so personal and so touching. That they would pray for us, us! So humbling. What a joy it is to be able to be a part of this, these moments. Thank you, Jesus!
As we packed up the vehicles and prepared to move on, many neighborhood children were playing in the streets. Our young team members, Levi and Cameron, shared a few donated soccer balls. What a joy it was for all of them. As I mentioned earlier, this was not a flat street, it was a hill. You would think that ball would have been lost rolling down the hill, but not with these boys. No translator was needed as they tossed and kicked that ball, their laughter and smiles said it all!
It was a very good day! Thank you Jesus!